Patrick (and all),
The rubber bushings in the rack coupler itself tend to self distruct
after..oh, twenty years of being baked in engine oil (what, oil leaks in a
Spitfire! Oh no...) and that'll give quite a bit of free play to the
steering. My ex-girlfriends '68 Spit would corner ok once you got to the
limit of the free play. :-) Just could never convince her to set aside an
afternoon to replace the coupler (it's been sitting in a box in my hallway
for 8 months now).
A friend in the local club used faucet washers (.05 ea) instead of the TRF
bushing ($2 ea)... you need 8 to do the job.
Check British Parts Northwest... typically they'll sell the polyurethane
bushings for about the cost of the stock rubber replacements bushings. The
poly rack bushings will give the benefit of solid aluminum mounts at a
fraction of the cost ($8 vs $35).
Or if you want stock bushings drop me a note... I've collected way too many
for my project car before I discovered the poly.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mostrom, Paul [SMTP:Mostrom.Paul@principal.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 1999 8:59 AM
> To: 'Spitfires@autox.team.net'
> Subject: RE: Front End Rebuild
> Be sure to check for play at the steering rack coupling. It can give a
> lot of
> play and can be just a loose bolt. The bolts may seem tight, but it the
> steering shaft moves without moving the rack, tighten the bolts at the
> coupling as much as you can using a hand wrench. This was a significant
> problem with mine and others on the list, even after a total rebuild of
> front end.
> Paul Mostrom
> '77' Spitfire 1500
> 'Black holes, where God divided by zero......'
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 1999 3:26 AM
> To: Spitfires@autox.team.net
> Subject: Front End Rebuild
> I am preparing to rebuild the front end of my car (within a month... see
> how long it takes me to do something, or save up for it). I have several
> questions to try and determine how much I need to replace, remember I am
> a budget. If my bearings appear good, no noticeable scoring or marks and
> they spin freely, is it ok to reuse them? Is it worth the extra cost to
> use polyurethane bushings rather than stock rubber? In the Vicky Brit
> Winter Special Catalog it shows (pg.52) Woodhead shock absorbers for
> $29.95, any experience with these? How do I know if my coil springs are
> still good, it seems that I as once told they should be 12inches tall,
> uncompressed mine are probably closer to 16 (using the always accurate
> eyeball rule).
> Currently my steering wheel has about 15 to 20 degrees of freeplay in it,
> what causes this. Do I need to replace my tie rods? What else is there
> inspect on the rack and pinion? Should I replace the rack and pinion
> bushings? rubber/polyurethane? And finally the anti-sway bar, should I
> replace its bushings with rubber/polyurethane? Do the end links wear and
> should I replace them.
> Is there anything else that I should take into consideration before doing
> Tons of thanks in advance!!
> Patrick Bowen
> '79 Spitfire
> Jacksonville FL